Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) has reiterated his belief that Chris Froome should not be racing while the Team Sky rider’s salbutamol case rumbles on. The pair, who are both currently racing Tirreno-Adriatico, are targeting the Giro d’Italia in May, with Dumoulin hoping to win back-to-back titles. Froome’s participation in the Italian Grand Tour could well rest on his anti-doping case, which began when he returned a result for over twice the legal amount of salbutamol in a drug test at the Vuelta a España last autumn.
Dumoulin and his Sunweb team are part of the MPCC, and under that body’s rules Dumoulin would not be racing if he was in Froome’s current position. However, Team Sky are not part of the MPCC, and while they are not breaking any rules with Froome’s continued participation in races, he and the British team have drawn criticism.
“He’s not breaking any rules. Can he be here? Yes. Is it good for cycling? No. Does anyone benefit from it? No. It’s his right and let’s say he is innocent, then I can understand that he’s here. We as a team and I have a different opinion about it; I would not be allowed to race as we’re part of the MPCC. I would probably also not want to, but Sky has a different approach to it. That’s their right,” Dumoulin told Cyclingnews.
When initially asked for his opinion on Team Sky – who have also come under fire after British parliament select committee review – and Froome, Dumoulin said: “It looks like, from the outside, like a mess, but I don’t know enough to have a strong opinion on it.”
The Dutchman is ever-hopeful that a resolution regarding Froome is reached before the Giro. The possible contest between last year’s Giro winner and Froome is one of the most anticipated battles of the season, but the uncertainty over Froome would be a major detraction from the race if he were to ride and no judgment had been made on his case.
“I hope it’s solved before the Giro. If it’s not then it’s up to me to accept the situation. I have no influence so I can’t be stressed about it. I just hope that it all works out before the Giro.”
Blue-sky thinking for the Tour
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